“No contact” is an act of intentionally avoiding any communication with your ex-partner. Yet when you have children together, the no contact rule will be difficult to maintain. It’s understandable that you will want to continue to communicate with your ex for the sake of co-parenting.
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Should You Follow “No Contact” When You Have Kids?
There’s no question about it: Put your parental duties first. If your partner has left you, the care of your children is more important than following a rule perfectly.
Adapt accordingly: Be diplomatic and practical when discussing the kids. Their health and their physical and emotional wellbeing are far more important than sticking to a rule.
However, outside of your parental duties, you can follow the no-contact strategy like anyone else.
The Finer Points of Co-Parenting with Your Ex
When co-parenting with your ex, you’re not just juggling your own emotions but the tender emotions of your children as well. You may find yourself on a thin line between keeping the no contact rule with your ex and ensuring your children’s emotional and physical needs are met.
Now, you might wonder: how do you keep your emotions in check during interactions with your ex? It’s a bumpy ride, especially when old wounds are still fresh.
Firstly, it’s about compartmentalising. When you interact with your ex regarding the kids, keep the conversation strictly about the kids. Before you dial that number or send that text, pause for a moment. Ask yourself: Is this communication necessary for the wellbeing of my children? If yes, proceed. If not, step back.
Secondly, embrace patience. There might be instances where your ex might steer the conversation towards personal matters or bygones. It’s a test of patience. Gently steer the conversation back to the topic at hand—your children.
Thirdly, consider the medium of communication. Sometimes, a text or an email is a better choice, as it allows for clear, concise communication without the emotional undertones that might come with a voice or face-to-face communication.
Lastly, seek support. Engage in a support group or confide in trusted friends who understand your situation. It’s not just about venting, but about gaining insights on how others navigate such tricky waters.
You see, every interaction you have with your children is a step towards creating a stable environment for them, despite the storm that might be brewing inside you. And remember, it’s a learning curve. With each day and with each interaction, you’re not just working towards being a co-parent; you’re also moving a step closer to healing. It’s about taking one day at a time, one interaction at a time. And who knows? With time, you might just find a rhythm that works for you, your ex, and most importantly, your children.
For your children’s sake, continue to maintain your duty as a parent to the best of your ability. Use a pragmatic approach with your ex: if you need to contact him or her in order to be a good parent, then do so. However, keep your views and feelings about the breakup separate from your parental responsibilities. Another way to put it: if you are not talking about the children, you are not talking at all.